A Tauranga truck driver has been lauded as a hero for stopping in busy traffic to rescue an elderly man's mobility scooter which was stuck on railway tracks - moments before a train arrived.
Mainfreight driver Craig Hine had just finished a delivery in Hull Rd, Mount Maunganui and was headed towards the Totara St intersection about 1.30pm when he saw a man struggling to free his mobility scooter from the train tracks.
Mr Hine pulled his heavy truck over to the left as far as he could to stop and help the man, who had got off his scooter but was unable to free it.
''I'd just done a delivery across the road and saw the old boy got stuck in the railway lines so I thought I'd help him out. I knew he wouldn't have been able to pick it up himself, he just didn't have the strength to move it, so I did what you would do for an aged person,'' Mr Hine said.
''That's all I did. I was just being a good citizen. I'm sure someone else would have stopped. I was just in the right place at the right time.
''Just as I got him moving the barrier alarms starting ringing, so it was just in the nick of time. He's pretty lucky,'' Mr Hine said.
Mr Hine said he and the man did not exchange names.
''I said to him 'that was a stroke of luck', and he was off on his scooter and I was off on my next delivery.''
Sierra Johnston-Smith lives near the railway tracks and saw the whole thing.
Ms Johnston-Smith said Mr Hine was a hero for doing what he did and shared her views on Facebook.
''I couldn't tell him myself how awesome and beautiful that was to see,'' she said.
''I knew if I put it on Facebook someone would know him. The power of social media is amazing. And what he did was amazing. The world needs more people like him. I wasn't fast enough to run out on to the road but I did stand on my deck and applaud him.''
Staff at Mainfreight's Mount Maunganui branch found out about Mr Hine's efforts on Facebook.
Branch manager Lance Chadwick said staff in Auckland told them about the Facebook post and they had a fair idea who it was that helped the old man.
''We have a few drivers that deliver as owner operators around Mount Maunganui. We just rang one of the guys, thought it was him. He's a pretty good guy.''
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